I’m continually amazed at how little critical reporting Victoria’s Secret gets from the fashion and business press. When Apple or Microsoft launch a new product, a thousand bloggers pick the thing apart. When VS does the same, editors around the world are happy to run the sexy photos with little comment. Talk about a free ride.
Anne is a former VS Fashion Director who’s on a crusade to promote a new vision of sensuality in American fashion, culture and media. She is passionate about what she calls “the positive portrayal of female sexuality in America” and advocates a female-centric value system she calls “Smart Sensuality” — confident, creative women with real heart. If you haven’t come across Anne’s blogs yet, run-don’t-walk.
Anne writes frequently about Victoria’s Secret, with an obvious fondness for her old employer but a growing skepticism about the ways in which VS conveys the meaning of sexuality and eroticism to American girls and women.
Recently, she posted a lengthy open letter to Victoria’s Secret, proposing that the brand adopt a new set of values, ditch the glitzy diamond bras, and end this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show with a symbolic repudiation of its increasingly tacky, Vegas-style antics. She ties in the phoenix imagery with references to the Selita Banks phoenix-like creature in the Kanye West ‘Runaway’ video.
We’ve excerpted a few passages from Anne’s article below. You can read the full version here.
The VS Fashion Show, which was taped two weeks after Anne’s piece appeared, will air on Tuesday night. You’ll have to watch to see if they took her advice.
From: “Dear Victoria’s Secret: We Need ‘Runaway’ Phoenix Wings”
The world needs a phoenix, the mythical bird that flies far ahead to the front, collecting sensory information about our world and the events unfolding in it. The 21st century phoenix must be female. Millions of men worldwide believe that only women as phoenix can lead us out of this wilderness. Soon it may be too late.
Loving her body, as a reflection of her integrated self and including her soul, is far more important to women than diamonds. … At the end of the day, diamonds are not a girl’s best friend, and they are no substitute for intimacy and good sex. …
I propose a new ending to this year’s New York City Victoria’s Secret fashion show on November 30. Instead of the beautiful, sensual Adriana Lima strutting her diamond-encrusted Bombshell cleavage front and center, I see an ending with all the models and official Angels as phoenix goddesses. …
Close your eyes and imagine this.
All of the Victoria’s Secret phoenix birdies appear as ballet dancers with golden scissors. They hover over Adriana Lima like fireflies, gently snipping away all her diamonds, dropping them into a classical Greek urn on loan from the Metropolitan Museum for the evening.
When all the diamonds are removed from the bra and Adriana Lima stands as the radiant Brazilian goddess that she is for real, she pulls a check for $2 million out of her Bombshell bra and hands it to Shakira for her ALAS foundation. …
This, my dear friends, is real Bombshell power in action. No leaping out of war machines, strutting across the tarmac like the Israeli army. The new Bombshells are fireflies. …
Because I love you so, Victoria’s Secret, I want you to have brand values that resonate with tomorrow’s woman, one who just isn’t so impressed with Bombshell boobs and Diamond Lil fashion shows. This young Smart Sensuality woman has soul. And so do the men who love her. Trust me, there are many like her in the pipeline.